Two weeks ago, we loved Indianapolis. We loved heading to the Indy Winter Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings, we loved playing intramural soccer with Circle City Athletics, we loved grabbing a drink at the Libertine, we loved running along the canal. Fast forward to today. Those things are all still here, and we still love them and the community that surrounds them. But as Kate Hudson once said in How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days, “I love you Binky, but I don’t have to like you right now.”
We don’t like what’s happening in our state and our city. This isn’t our Indianapolis.
We don’t like being called discriminatory because of bad leadership. That’s not our Indianapolis. We don’t like seeing businesses want to leave due to partisan battles in the statehouse. That’s not our Indianapolis. We don’t like hearing that our friends who were considering moving to Indianapolis say they would never consider it now. That’s not our Indianapolis. We don’t like seeing #BoycottIndiana scattered across social media. That’s not our Indianapolis.
We wouldn’t live in Indianapolis if we thought it was a discriminatory place. We wouldn’t live in Indianapolis if we felt that our friends were actively discriminated against. Our Indy hasn’t changed overnight based on careless actions by select individuals. Our Indy hasn’t become less accepting because a signature appeared on a bill. But now it’s our challenge, and hopefully our opportunity, to show the real Indianapolis.
Our Indianapolis is the Indianapolis that has thousands of people gathered outside the statehouse rallying for equality. Our Indianapolis is a city that has people from all walks of life shouting to tell the rest of the nation “This isn’t us.” Our Indianapolis is a city that is full of loving and supporting people. Our Indianapolis is a city that encourages your dreams and cheers for your goals. Our Indianapolis is a city that welcomes you in and doesn’t want to see you go. And that hasn’t changed.
As we sit at the Thirsty Scholar writing this, we are surrounded by Indy citizens supporting a local business that welcomes everyone. This morning when we walked up and down Mass Ave, stopping in for brunch at Hoaglin, and coffee at YoguLatte, and books at Indy Reads, small circles of blue dotted our path. Circles proudly displayed on business windows that read “We Serve Everyone.” That is the Indy we know and love.
We don’t interact with representatives at the statehouse every day, and we don’t see them in our vision of Indy. Suffice it to say, they don’t know our Indy. To them we say, come meet our Indy. Come see those of us who are working to make Indy an ideal place to live, work and play.
Let us foster the love that is here and use it for good. Let’s be louder than the negative commentary around us. Take action. Ask questions. Educate yourself. Make a trip to the statehouse. Email, Tweet, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Vine – whatever your medium, use your voice to make a positive impact. Find the “Open for Service” stickers at your favorite businesses and support them. Stay here. Stay and fight. Don’t let this city be defined by those who don’t actually define us.
On the site of the old City Hall building, the cornerstone reads “I am myself a citizen of no mean city,” paraphrased from Paul, Acts 21:39. While “mean” might have represented average in this case, the sentiment of being mean is applicable now. Our Indy has looked mean for the past few weeks, but we are here to tell you, we are not a part of a mean city, and we will not allow others to make our city look mean.
Co-written by: Molly Sender & Camryn Walton
Love Indy Photo Cred: Graeme Haase